Today’s assignment is to read other blogs and leave comments on at least four that you haven’t commented on before. It may well have been on this same assignment in a previous course that I met two of my best blogging buddies Peter and Anne.
Let’s be honest. The main reason for writing a blog is so that someone other than you will read it. I know, I know – I’ve seen lots of bloggers who “write because I’m compelled to write, write to sort out my tangled thoughts, write to make sense of myself, write to please myself or write to get better at writing.” I believe all of those things and I’ve probably posted each of them at some point in the past.
But blogging is about more than writing for yourself. Blogging is writing in an effort to connect with others (unless your blog is set to private.) I will celebrate my 2-year blogging anniversary at the end of February. I remember the early days of making a post at night and then taking it down the next morning because I wasn’t sure I wanted anyone to read it. Or setting my blog to private so I could write whatever I wanted to without anyone reading it. I struggled with whether or not my name should be in my blog title. I despaired when days went by without anyone “liking” my most recent post. Then if people “liked” something I posted, I wished they had left a comment.
At times I’ve wondered if it mattered whether I wrote or not – “who cares what I write about anyway?” I think those insecurities will always be there but that’s when my blogging buddies (and sometimes my husband who never comments on my posts but provides daily affirmation) remind me that at least three people want to read what I have to say, enjoy what I write and want me to keep at it.
For whatever it is worth to beginning bloggers (and believe me – I am no expert) all of your insecurities and doubts about the experience will change over time.
- Do I still love the sound my phone makes when someone “likes” a post? You bet I do – I smile every time I hear it!
- Do I still wish people would leave a comment rather than just “like” a post? Yes – absolutely – because that is how dialog begins and blogging buddies are born.
- Do I still make a post then take it down? Nope – that hasn’t happened in a long time.
- Does blogging make me a better writer? I hope so but I suppose only time will tell.
- Do I worry about what other people will think about me based on something I post? Not really, but that may have more to do with me being 60 years old than with my growth as a blogger – there will be some people who get me and others who don’t.
Somewhere along the way I decided that I would post whatever I wanted and I wouldn’t worry about whether anyone liked it. And the corollary to that is that if I wasn’t comfortable with anyone in the world reading what I posted (i.e. think boss, mother, old boyfriend) I wouldn’t post it. I decided I have to post regularly because when I don’t I forget how to do the most basic things that are part of blogging. And when I don’t post regularly I miss out on the chance to connect with others either by me finding something in their blog that speaks to me or someone else finding a post on my blog that speaks to them.
What I’ve learned in my almost two years of blogging is that there are more similarities than differences among people around the world. Sure – different languages, different cultures, different recipes and different lifestyles – but so many common themes of human compassion, story-telling, humor, creativity, significance of family, personal growth and a desire to be a better person. That is a very comforting discovery in these troubled times. It reaffirms my hope for humanity. That is also something that I would not appreciate if I didn’t blog.
I’m only halfway through today’s assignment and have left messages on two blogs
Isa’s Kitchen and Book Junkie. But I’ve looked at so many more and am reminded why I love blogging. It makes the world a bit smaller, it allows me to see the variety of interests that bloggers have and it connects me to places I may only be able to visit through the wonders of blogging. Thanks to everyone who makes these journeys possible.